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The Bank of Scotland Labour Market Barometer, a composite indicator designed to provide a single figure snapshot of labour market conditions, registered 53.0 in March, consistent with a “moderate” improvement in Scottish job market conditions. Moreover, up from February’s seven-month low of 51.2, the Barometer signalled a faster rate of growth, which was also stronger than the UK average (52.3).
The latest Bank of Scotland Report on Jobs indicated growth of both permanent and temporary staff placements in March. The strongest rise was for permanent appointments, which more than reversed a reduction in February. Higher placements generally reflected greater demand for staff, but the rates of vacancy growth remained weaker than their respective long-run series averages. Meanwhile, permanent salaries increased in the latest survey period, following no change one month earlier.
The report also found that the IT, engineering, nursing and blue collar sectors had the biggest increase in permanent positions, while accounts and secretarial work saw the biggest fall in positions. In part-time employment medical, engineering, IT, secretarial and accounts jobs grew while positions in blue collar, professional and catering sectors decreased.
Donald MacRae, Chief Economist at Bank of Scotland, commented: "This latest Barometer for March shows a welcome rise from the low of last month. The number of people appointed to both permanent and temporary jobs rose while the number of vacancies increased. These results reinforce the view that the Scottish economy is continuing its slow recovery from recession."
Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney quoted by STV has welcomed the jobs report. He said: "Scotland now has a higher employment rate, lower unemployment rate than the UK — as well as stronger economic growth and youth unemployment figures that continue to improve and out-perform the UK.
The report is based on a monthly survey of over100 recruitment and employment agencies operating in Scotland. To see the full report, click below: